For what seems like the first time since the holiday season began in November, this weekend I had NOTHING scheduled for Sunday — no concerts, no neighborhood gatherings, no NFL playoff games — so I was able to spend nearly six hours sewing. Bliss.
I generally have no fewer than four different projects going at once, which isn’t really that unusual for a non-professional quilter. I’ll get inspired by something and start cutting out the project, but then I remember that I only had a few hours of work left on a project I put aside last time I sewed and I’ll decide to finish it off before continuing on the new project.
Today was no different: I had a patchwork backpack that I needed to finish off for a trip to Longwood Gardens planned for the President’s Day weekend, my “Mystery Quilt” (I had one final “clue” to complete before I could see the assembly instructions), and that “Scrappy Trip” project that I’d begun several weeks ago during my day in Cyndi’s studio.
I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to jump into the Scrappy Trip, and set myself a goal to avoid planning the blocks and just go with the flow.
Some quick background: The Scrappy Trip technique calls for 2 1/2″ x 16″ fabric strips, assembled in groups of six strips, pieced, cut and arranged to form a 12″ block. When I made my first three blocks, I was futzing a bit with the fabric strips, trying to arrange pleasing color patterns. But today I really wanted to get away from planned arrangements and come up with some more random blocks.
As you can see from these strips (step 1 of the process), I was moderately successful:
It took me a couple of hours to cut, piece and iron the six groupings:
Can you feel the randomness?
And another couple of hours to do the strip cutting, ripping and re-piecing. As the sun was setting, I ironed my six new 12″ blocks. Here are a few:
Now I have nine completed blocks. You can start to see how the darker fabric forms a secondary “chain” pattern, even with the blocks laid out randomly.
Before I started, I was thinking that any square set (e.g., 4 x4, 3 x 3, etc.) would work. But now I see that I’ll need to have at least 16 squares to get a real pattern. I’m not sure that these are the right blocks. But I’ve got PLENTY of 2 1/2″ strips to work with, so I’ll just continue to play around with combinations until I get the right look and feel. And what doesn’t get used in a wall hanging will end up as a pillow, I think.